Akk Akk the Dino-Kitty Pirate

The story of Akk Akk, the Dino-Kitty pirate is a tragic story with a tinge of humour. It is told in slight variations in coastal towns around the North Sea, and involves a Pirate Captain called Old Dirty Sid, and a sea hag called Katrina.

Summary

According to the story Old Dirty Sid was a Saxon pirate captain that, with his crew, terrorised shipping lanes in the North Sea bringing much misery to the countries surrounding it. One day they decided to hit a village with a church on the coast of East Anglia.   When they did so, they checked they had enough men for the attack, after they heard the village was well defended as they had some ancient holy relic stored there. Thinking that they could make some money either ransoming it, or selling it on to a collector, they weren't going to get caught.   So the day came, and sailed in their dragon ship up the local estuary at high tide, they landed at the small port used for fishing vessels. Hopping off, they saw the townspeople panicking. They knew that a fight was to happen, and were arming themselves. The pirates knew they had a slight edge in speed here, and were more battle hardened than the locals. Rushing into the village they hacked & slew anyone they came across out classing everyone, even the local militia. Upon reaching the centre of the village, they came across a small church, surrounded by the remnants of the locals, the local clergy and remaining militia members.   An elderly priest stepped forward, and started to speak. His words were: "You have came to us to loot & pillage, steal our gold and priceless artefacts. By doing so you may have condemned us to the cursed statue we own. If you are sensible you will leave now. If you don't, and especially if you remove this artefact from holy ground, you will pay the price for spilling blood of innocents!"   Now Sid wasn't a superstitious man, and the majority of his crew wasn't either. They thought this was just the locals being locals, and proceeded to attack. Killing everyone there, even the young sheltering in the church, they proceeded to loot everything they could from the village. Old Dirty Sid himself went through the church lifting everything.   Eventually he came across the statue the old priest had mentioned. It was a twisted golden statue of a female with bulging eyes, sharp teeth & claws, and a small cat-like creature to her left, and a small reptile on the other standing on two legs, and short forelegs. Thinking nothing of it, he grabbed it with a bloody hand and walked out.   A few hours later they were all back on board and sailing out to sea again. Twilight had just set in and thinking they should really find somewhere to anchor, they could make out a small rocky outcrop nearby at sea, one they had never seen before. Deciding to anchor there they pulled up. When resting up Old Dirty Sid went to pull out the strange statue for further examination and seen it was missing.   Summoning his crew, he demanded where the statue was. None knew, though the watchman had said he watched as a shadow seemed to slip on board, and then slip off again. It seemed to enter a blank part of the rock they were tethered to, disappearing.   At this point, Old Dirty decided to hop on the rocky outcrop, realising a simple ledge was beside the ship and saw that the rocky outcrop was roughly 9 to 10 feet tall. Going to the part the watchman had pointed at Old Dirty pressed his hand on it. His hand disappeared in, revealing an illusionary wall was there. Old Dirty walked in revealing he was standing at the top of a spiral staircase leading downwards. Small alcoves in the wall contained whale blubber burning giving off a bit of light. Descending downwards into the bowels of the rock, Old Dirty smelled a stench of which he never encountered before. Descending about 200 yards below sea level, he eventually found himself standing in a cavern of a couple of hundred feet either direction, and in the middle a pedestal the state on top.   What stood behind it shocked Old Dirty. Something was there between the statue and a roaring fire was the shape of a sea hag, who promptly spoke, "So your the one with the balls to try to claim my little likeness, ehhh? Well good for you, now I can swim in the waters all around now thanks for feeing me. Pity I can't let you tell anyone about this, and this can act as a warning to others who disturb me. I'll let you live though, just unable to interact with the surface world and warn them. Only by being killed, the curse being broken by myself, or the statue put on holy ground will this stop. Can't have that can we?"   At this point she spoke some gibberish and Old Dirty felt his body buckle & vibrate. His clothing & equipment fell off and he could feel himself change. His skin changed to a leathery tough hide covered in slight ginger orange coloured fur, his head elongated into a reptilian form, and a tail exploded out his rear. At the same time his ears changed into small tufts on either side of his head, his mouth got bigger & filled with wicket teeth, and his arms got shorter and barely useable. His feet got larger, and clawed, and his eyes got bigger and took on the aspects of a cat.   Terrified he ran up the stairway, and onto his ship. Going to speak to his crew all he could say was "Akk Akk". The crew were terrified and at the same time knew this was Old Dirty Sid, for as soon as he stepped on deck, his curse was theirs too. Each knew that they were now cursed to continually sail the North Sea until the curse is lifted. When this happens they do not know, but the story has now spread to nearly all lands around this sea, and mariners are terrified if on a calm night-time sea they hear the dreaded AKK AKK┬ácalling out, for surely they will be boarded, or their settlement raided by the Akk Akk crew.

Historical Basis

Myths & legends always have some historical basis, and this one has some elements. It is unknown where the characters come from, where they are now, and what they are exactly meant to represent.   It seems to be believed that it is an oral based story, used to covey a number of points about the negatives of the sea, and it is to be respected. Exactly where or when it started is unknown, and likely in some type of maritime society to covey being careful both on the sea & to those that border it.   Some think it may be Germanic in origin due to the generalised locations, and the dark ending that it has.

Spread

It has spread all around the edges of the North Sea, and quite well-known in the sea shanties, and villages that make their living there. Not so much in major towns & cities, though at least a few in these settlements will be more than aware, usually with the cave-at of 'a friend of a friend' told me this or it happened to them.

Variations & Mutation

Most stories are consistent, changing the names a bit to local naming traditions, or to where the village or rocky outcrop is. A few times the name of Old Dirty Sid or Akk Akk is modified to accommodate local customs too. A few cases the statue is changed slightly or the creature it belongs to might change to a greater or lesser degree.

Cultural Reception

It is an oft told tale of the North Sea, and points to a number of related maritime traditions of the peoples bordering it. It, or at least related stories, are meant to act as cautionary tales about touching or stealing from innocent peoples, and for the spilling of innocent blood. Other ways is that maritime crime is is not to be sniffed at, and any such action might stir up ancient evils hidden beneath the waves. It also follows the path of that there are mysteries awaiting to be discovered to those that ply the seas, but doing so, they must be careful lest they encounter true evil. To top it off, it also is one that teaches that those who tend to be greedy is likely to face a fate worse than outright death.

In Literature

No known sources are mentioned of it ever being written down, though with most now having some ability to read or write there is a chance that it will soon be recorded.

In Art

A few localized songs are sometimes drawn up by Skalds and Troubadours, usually in coastal regions with slightly overblown names & general accounts to make it more palatable. Sometimes it is made more bawdy to make a point to make it more sexual to illicit a greater response.
"I heard that thing once. A mighty Akk Akk comin' outta the mist when we were at sea. Scared me it did, and the others too. Dinny know what was at first, then the cap'in reminded us we had too much the night before in the feasting hall. The damn skald was too good, or so we thought.   Then they hit us, that cat-like lizard thing beside them, tearing apart the cap'in and the first mate. We were lucky we were near shore, all but those two and one of the others didn't make it. And not one injured or killed out of those damned raiders."   Roger, the cabin boy, aboard the Anglo-Saxon trading vessel, Freya's Blessing.
Date of First Recording
729 AD
Date of Setting
The 700s AD


Cover image: by Matt Graves

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
15 May, 2022 19:18

This is absolutely amazing- and also a bit frightening! Very good job! I really enjoyed reading this.

15 May, 2022 19:26

Good, good. You'll never take a job on board a ship now, haha. Especially if you hear Akk Akk coming from far off.

15 May, 2022 19:46

Definitely not! Me and the ocean don't get along anyways. XD

15 May, 2022 19:51

One more reason there to avoid :)

16 May, 2022 22:35

Big ol' +1 from me. This is fantastic! <3

Snarky and Sarcastic to the End
16 May, 2022 23:38

So, who wants a boat ride in the North Sea? Never know what you may hear.

17 May, 2022 21:41

Definitely not going to take you up on that offer! XD I'd rather not die to Akk Akk the Dino-Kitty Pirate.

17 May, 2022 22:12

Every time you hear something going Akk Akk, you'll think of this....

17 May, 2022 23:20

You'd better believe i will! XD Especially with that cover image for the pirate, it's almost cute, in a slightly horrifying way.

18 May, 2022 08:19

Make's it all the more horrifying, indeed.

19 May, 2022 09:20

This is incredible, and honestly, cursing people into immortal cat-dino hybrids sounds like the greatest idea in the world (at least to me).

19 May, 2022 10:24

Why thank you.

4 Aug, 2022 00:18

Love this... because anyone who has ever owned a cat knows the terror of hearing akk akk in the night!

Deleyna - Check out my Spaceport Adventure April 2023 choose your own adventure and see what happens when you walk into Blue's Bar!
4 Aug, 2022 11:50

That's why I stick to dogs, safer in the long run, haha.